Roberts downs Davis twice to claim NC State 10-Ball Open title

One of the more persistent regrets of the pool industry is the absence of detailed history.  Major League Baseball could probably tell you what Babe Ruth had for breakfast on the day he set the home run record. There is no Major League Pool, of course, and the varied entities which comprise the governing bodies of the sport couldn’t, for example, provide its fan base with a definitive answer as to how many times Johnny Archer and Tommy Kennedy have faced each other over the years, and which of the two has the greater number of victories in those head to head matches.
They had a chance to meet again this past weekend (November 23-24) at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour and event sponsor Beasley Custom Cues. It didn’t happen. There was a chance that they could have met in the hot seat match, and when that didn’t happen, a second chance developed moving into the event’s quarterfinals. That didn’t happen either.
According to Kennedy, although their most memorable two matchups occurred in the hot seat and finals of the 1992 US Open 9-Ball Championships, when Kennedy claimed the hot seat over Archer and then defeated him a second time in the finals to claim his first, and as it’s turned out, only US Open title. Both matches were broadcast on ESPN.
“I beat him 13-1 in the hot seat match,” Kennedy recalled of that event 27 years ago, “and 9-1 in the finals. I think he’s ahead in overall matches, though, but not by too, too much. Probably 60-40.”
That same absence of detailed history holds, as well, for the winner and runner-up of this year’s NC State 10-Ball Open. Josh Roberts went undefeated at the $2,000-added event ($500 from the room owner and $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) that drew 42 entrants to SpeakEazy Billiards in Sanford NC. Roberts had to get by Mike Davis twice – hot seat and finals – to claim the event title and chalk up the two most recent events in the lengthy, though not specifically detailed history of their meetups in any number of events over the years.
Those four were the winners’ side final four at this North Carolina State 10-Ball Open. Roberts advanced to meet Kennedy in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Davis advanced to pick up Archer in the other one. The possible hot seat match loomed, but Roberts sent Kennedy to the loss side 7-4, while Davis and Archer (another pair with a history) locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Archer over and allowed Davis to join Roberts in the hot seat match. Roberts claimed his second hot seat in as many weeks (he claimed it last week – Nov. 15-17 – at the NC State Open One Pocket Championships), downing Davis 7-4 this week and waiting on his return.
Over on the loss side, a number of potential winners of the event continued to lurk, including (among others) Tony Chohan, BJ Ussery, Jonathan (Hennessee from Tennessee) Pinegar and Barry Mashburn. Archer and Kennedy picked up two of them. Chohan downed Wayne Miller 6-1 and shut out Mashburn to meet up with Archer. Pinegar eliminated Michael Yingling and Ussery, both 6-3, to draw Kennedy (Ussery and Pinegar, being yet another matchup with some history).
The possible Archer/Kennedy matchup loomed yet again. Kennedy got off to a bad start and was down 5-1 to Pinegar, before he rallied to tie and then win it 6-5, doing his part. Chohan, though, eliminated Archer 6-2 and then dropped Kennedy 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Davis put a stop to Chohan’s run 6-2 in the semifinals for a second shot at Roberts in the hot seat. According to tour director Herman Parker, in a single set, race-to-9, employing alternate break, Roberts “missed one ball, the entire set.” He gave up only a single game to Davis and claimed the NC State 10-Ball Open title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Speakeazy owners, Jimmy and Wendy Bullis, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as Beasley Custom Cues and its owner, Doug Beasley, for his ongoing support of the games. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1, will be a $500-added, 9-Ball Scotch Doubles event, to be hosted by Break ‘N Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.